Porn King vs. Porn Pastor

All this week, “porn king” Ron Jeremy (author of The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz) is debating porn pastor Craig Gross (founder of XXXChurch.com, which caters to women who want to leave the porn industry).

Tonight, they were in Chicago. And I was in the front row, sitting in front of the Ron Jeremy podium. With a notecard and pen. So no quoting me on the stuff below — it’s mostly paraphrased.

Here’s what I learned (some of it may be inappropriate for kids/prudes/those-who-don’t-read-Savage-Love):

  • Having a blog qualifies you as a member of the press. This allows you to get free tickets to the debate. (That’s a tip for the other bloggers out there.)
  • Normally, people will do anything to get in front of a news camera. But people were actually saying no to being interviewed tonight. Something about being seen at a “porn debate” didn’t sit well with some people…
  • Things are much more orderly when the moderator doesn’t immediately take questions from the audience. Instead, we were told to text-message our questions to a special number. The texts would go directly to the moderator’s computer, and he could sift through them in the middle of the debate. Very cool. (He did take actual audience questions afterwards, too, though that turned out to be a mild disaster… More on that below.)
  • Seeing Ron Jeremy speak in a debate must be the nerdier equivalent of reading Playboy for the articles.
  • When you stare at a podium that reads “Porn King” for several minutes before a debate starts, your mind plays with the words… and you notice that if you remove the letter “n” from the words, you get “porking.” Ha. And if you remove the letter “r” from that, you get “poking.” Double ha. And if you remove more letters, you get “pig.” Symbolism? Clearly.
  • Since we had to text message our questions during the debate, we were told to keep our phones on. We just had to turn them on Vibrate. Which seemed rather appropriate given the topic of discussion.
  • When you say that you’re a pastor during a debate, you should follow Craig’s lead and mention that you did not get ordained on the Internet. You’re the real deal.
  • Apparently, a girl gets paid $1,500 for an anal sex scene in pornos. Vaginal sex is $1,000. So, when these unreal porn women say they like anal, it’s only because they get paid more. Women don’t actually like it (said Craig). However, when Ron asked the audience if we liked — no, no, wait… — if we knew someone who liked anal, many hands shot up in the air.
  • One-third of divorces cite pornography as a reason for the breakup (said Craig).
  • If people are against pornography because it provides unrealistic expectations about women, they should also be against Pamela Anderson, Britney Spears, fashion magazines, etc… but you don’t see them complaining about any of that (said Ron)
  • For those who say porn empowers women, there’s nothing empowering about titles such as Naughty Nymphos and Cum Dumpsters 3… (3???) (said Craig).
  • The kinky, crazy pornos come from overseas. They constitute a minority niche, and the U.S. porn industry doesn’t produce that stuff. Most Internet porn is not included in the term “porn industry” (said Ron).
  • Ron Jeremy used to masturbate to Gilligan’s Island.
  • While porn is supposed to be for those 18 and older, the porn industry doesn’t do nearly enough to keep porn out of the hands of children. In fact, the largest demographic of porn viewers are boys ages 12-17. There’s also no “please watch this responsibly” type warning on porno videos (said Craig).
  • The porn industry is a multi-billion dollar business. It does not need to target children (said Ron).
  • When someone asks a pastor whether religion has done more harm than porn has, the audience goes “Ooooooh” and claps.
  • For the question above, pastors can give very long drawn out answers about how Christians screw up just like everyone else, yadda yadda yadda. Ron Jeremys are much more amusing when they quickly say, “Yes. Thank you.”
  • For those who say porn is filmed with consenting adults who like what they do, they didn’t see the girl who filmed an ATM scene and then threw up afterwards. That wasn’t in the movie or the behind-the-scenes footage (said Craig).
  • 76-year-old women can have sex, too (said Ron).
  • If you’re a porn pastor, your mother blames you when she gets pornographic spam. “Mom, that’s not me. That’s AOL!” (said Craig).
  • One problem with porn stars who leave the business is that their work can come back to haunt them in unintentional ways. Even when they change their look and lifestyle and have been out of the business for years. Like when a website uses your name as its domain name and sells porn and you have no control over it. Or when an angry ex tries to seek revenge by telling people that you were once a porn star.
  • Going to porn conventions and talking to people about the Bible is what Jesus would have done.
  • For anyone who says Craig goes to porn conventions to ogle women (instead of preaching the Gospels), it’s just not true. Hell, he’s on a week-long tour and sleeping on a tour bus alongside Ron Jeremy, not Jenna Jameson.
  • When a guy asks a question, he should keep the part about how “porn can be useful to single people like himself” to himself.
  • Feminists who get mad and loud and belligerent because the moderator isn’t calling on women need to calm the %$*& down. Especially because there are a lot of hands raised and the moderator has enough on his mind as it is without having to worry about balancing out all the demographics. And when the moderator makes an exception to his own rules and allows the feminists to ask their questions to appease them, they need to ask their questions and sit down instead of trying to have their own separate debate with the speakers.
  • When a pastor is asked who his favorite porn star is, he can give very long drawn out answers about how he doesn’t watch porn, yadda yadda yadda. Ron Jeremys are much more amusing when they quickly say, “Me, you dick!”
  • Nothing flusters a porn star more than when he is asked a question that begins with, “If you had a daughter…”
  • Ron Jeremy’s signed pictures in the lobby after the show cost $10 each. But if you have boobs, a signature is free. Curse my lack of boobs!
  • (Why is that not the first time I’ve said that?)
  • XXXChurch offers postcard-sized handouts that say “Stop Floggin’ Your Dolphin” on one side and “Don’t Spank That Monkey” on the other.

Some additional things from Craig: He doesn’t agree with abstinence-only sex education. And if a woman leaving the porn industry wants help from his church, she does not necessarily need to become a Christian in the short term (though she will have to be open to receiving mentorship from someone involved with a church). To get long-term help, however, she must be “willing to be accountable to leaders of local church and individuals within the ministry.”

I also found this interesting. When Craig Gross tours (with or without Ron Jeremy), he draws a large, young audience. When Rob Bell tours, he draws a large, young audience. Joel Osteen and Billy Graham both sell out larger stadiums, albeit to an older (overall) demographic.

Have Christians figured out why these guys are able to get a large crowd to listen to them outside of a church setting? (Hint: There’s a reason the James-Dobson-and-Pat-Robertson-tour-o’-hate-’08 isn’t going to be sold out.)

If you’re interested in seeing the Porn Debate live, the guys are heading to Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York the rest of the week.

Go see them if you get a chance. Bring a friend. It’s entertaining as hell.


[tags]atheist, atheism, porn king, Ron Jeremy, The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz, porn pastor, Craig Gross, XXXChurch.com, Playboy, anal, sex, Pamela Anderson, Britney Spears, Naughty Nymphos, Cum Dumpsters 3, Gilligan’s Island, Christian, Jesus, Jenna Jameson, Feminist, abstinence-only sex education, Rob Bell, Joel Osteen, Billy Graham, James Dobson, Pat Robertson[/tags]

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  • Kate

    Thanks for the much-needed laugh today!!!!!! :)

  • Eliza

    Hemant –

    Did you ask any questions?

    What did you think was the best question from the audience?

    How did you hear about this, and why did you go?

    thanks…

  • http://friendlyatheist.com FriendlyAtheist

    Hemant -

    Did you ask any questions?

    What did you think was the best question from the audience?

    How did you hear about this, and why did you go?

    thanks…

    My hand was raised, but I wasn’t called on. I did get to ask my questions to Craig in the lobby, though (there was a meet-and-greet)– mostly the questions pertaining to abstinence-only sex ed and whether conversion to Christianity was necessary if girls wanted his church’s help in leaving the porn industry.

    I think the question about whether religion caused more harm than porn was a great one.

    I had heard about the debate in articles all over the place, and when I found out they were stopping in Chicago, I wanted to go. It just seemed like a really interested debate :) Plus, it was Ron Jeremy…

  • Craig

    Its interesting to see which ads Google selects to display alongside this blog post! I just got one for “Ron Jeremy hot sauce”. I didn’t click on it… :-)

  • Eliza

    Plus, it was Ron Jeremy…

    Have to admit, I’d never heard of (or seen) Ron Jeremy before this…but reading the Wikipedia page on him, I’m impressed! Holder of a record in the Guiness Book of World Records, PETA ad star, and auto-fellator – wow! ;-)

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  • Craig

    I drove past a very large church today and their letterboard sign out the front read “He’s coming again”. I couldn’t help but think of Ron Jeremy. Not totally sure if that’s who they were referring to though… :-)

  • Mr.Smith

    Dat tagline.


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